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Thread: Zimbra beats other guys' standard for uptime

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  1. #1
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    Default Zimbra beats other guys' standard for uptime

    I had to laugh when I read this article on E-Week, entitled "Outages, bad updates hamper businesses."
    Dana Gardner, founding analyst of InterArbor Solutions said most enterprises and SMBs (small and mid-sized businesses) deal with e-mail outages internally with some regularity, noting that the rates of uptime for these non-transactional apps can be as low as 97 percent and still be considered mission-critical. He told me:

    So let's take a reality check on whether Web-based apps are or should be any better than behind-the-firewall apps such as e-mail that sometimes go down. That said, trust and value are essential for any migration to Web-based or cloud-provided apps. The bad news is that if Company XYZ has an e-mail outage, people go to the water cooler and chat about the Olympics and shrug it off. Few people outside the actual company know or care. But when Web mail such as Gmail goes down, it's for the world to see.
    (emphasis mine - DWM)
    Now I don't know about the rest of you, but if I saw my Zimbra server drop to 97% uptime I'd consider it seriously broken. I've had a Zimbra server up for the better part of a year, and total downtime (including the time I took it down to do upgrades) probably hasn't reached 24 hours yet. Take out the headaches I had on initial install/configuration and it's probably not more than 12 hours total.

    Seems to me the industry is setting the bar too low. . .
    Cheers,

    Dan

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    That is insane.

    Our old Exchange server used to freeze up at least once a day and the Exchange Service would have to be stopped and restarted or the entire system restarted before mail would flow again. My production Zimbra servers would have been up for more than 450 days straight with some weekend 'down time' for upgrades. I put that in quotes because even though the servers were getting upgraded no mail was lost but the mailboxes were unavailable.

    The only reason they didn't make it that long was due to a scheduled power outage and a relocation to another Datacenter.
    Because we all can't be geniuses, I'll go first.

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    Yeah, exchange gave us plenty of downtime to rethink our strategy
    Last edited by Dirk; 11-25-2008 at 10:05 AM.

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    I ran Mecury Mail by David Harris on Netware up until the move to Zimbra,
    that email server has never had ANY downtime in its 13 years of
    service.

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    Yep uptime is one thing I can't fault with ZCO it has been rock solid and so has the OS it's running on with an uptime of over 800 days now.. and ZCO outages have been the 20 odd minutes it takes to upgrade to a new version.

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    To be fair, since I use an open-source backup script, I need to take into account the time I drop the Zimbra services for backup. It's been a while since I stood there with a stopwatch to monitor it, and I haven't modified the script to log stop & start (I suppose I should), but last time I watched, I was actually down for approx 2 minutes (and a big piece of that was the time it takes for the mailbox services to start, actually).

    Since there are 1440 minutes in a day, 1438/1440 = 99.86%. Of course, that's robbing 2 minutes in the middle of the night when nobody is checking my email, so downtime that's visible to the end user would be less. . .

    But if we look at involuntary downtime--that which happens because something broke, then I'm talking only a couple incidents since I started on Zimbra--and those were failures of the Clam database. That is the only thing that has ever caused me to LOSE zimbra service.
    Cheers,

    Dan

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    All well and good, but how are such numbers monitored? I can do it manually, but I'm more likely to just make it up. Is there an app, either within Zimbra, or something linux based that will show me the percentage uptime?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    All well and good, but how are such numbers monitored? I can do it manually, but I'm more likely to just make it up. Is there an app, either within Zimbra, or something linux based that will show me the percentage uptime?
    Most monitoring software will give you uptimes. If you're searching for a piece of software to do that, we just switched to Zenoss and really like it. The setup is not for the faint of heart though..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    All well and good, but how are such numbers monitored? I can do it manually, but I'm more likely to just make it up. Is there an app, either within Zimbra, or something linux based that will show me the percentage uptime?
    I'm a sucker for freebies, so I use Webmin (Webmin). It has a really nice status snapshot (includes uptime) as well as a variety of other utilities that I use on a regular basis. Note my uptime is due to a system upgrade, not to be blamed on Zimbra or Ubuntu:

    Cheers,

    Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwmtractor View Post
    I'm a sucker for freebies, so I use Webmin (Webmin). It has a really nice status snapshot (includes uptime) as well as a variety of other utilities that I use on a regular basis. Note my uptime is due to a system upgrade, not to be blamed on Zimbra or Ubuntu:
    I'm not sure, but I think they are looking for more of a percentage of uptime rather than the time since the last boot.

    Regarding the OP, I've watched an slightly underpowered Exchange server with very few users take almost an hour to reboot. If you only have one server, that's some serious down time just for doing patches or every time Windows just decides it needs to reboot. Let alone Exchange issues.. Ugh.. Windows..

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